If you’ve ever complained about “not having a good enough job” or “not making enough money” then pay attention, because I’m about to blow your goddamn mind.
This is someone complaining about why they can’t get an awesome job:
A lot of people who ask this question tend to say stuff like:
- “This economy sucks for getting a job!”
- “College didn’t prepare me for the real world!”
- “My parents generation didn’t have it this hard!”
…or blame someone else for their awful prospects.
But they’re overlooking one hell of an important factor: themselves.
Maybe, just maybe, they aren’t that valuable.
That sounds super mean, but let’s break this down
The famous venture capitalist Marc Andreessen put out a fantastic guide for planning your career. The main concept is focusing on becoming at least a double-threat.
This is what he meant:
A single threat knows one thing really well.
A double threat knows two things really well.
A triple threat knows three things really well.
A lot of people get MBA’s. But if that’s all you have then you’re only a single threat. Just a one-trick pony. However if you have an MBA and also know how to code really well, congrats! You’re now a double threat!
Obviously the Triple-Threat gal has a combination of talents that are super unique and can be very helpful down the line. Her breadth of knowledge makes her more valuable and interesting.
Mr. Andreessen put it best here:
Which would you rather go out into the world armed with?
However, adding extra college degrees is not always the answer.
I graduated with a degree in political science. I have a $50,000 piece of paper that tells me I’m an expert in political science, and honestly I have no clue what I could possibly do with my degree.
The skills that make me a triple threat are ones I learned outside the classroom, on my own.
I can usually write stuff people like. I’m better than at least 90% of the people out there (insert humbleness here) at writing. My words have been read by hundreds of millions of people. That’s a huge sample of experience I can draw from. This makes me a strong marketer. I’ve been offered countless jobs and paid-gigs just because of this talent. My skills were developed just by reading a bunch of copywriting books.
I have strong computer skills. I’m good enough to deploy a website using WordPress and customize it… or even build it from scratch. I’m also well-versed at outsourcing stuff I can’t do, and getting it done cheaply through freelancers on sites like Upwork.com. I can also draw and use Photoshop well enough to make cheesy guides like this “What is Copywriting” guide.
I get to see behind the scenes of hundreds of companies. I’m a full-time freelance copywriter and have at least four clients a month I write for. I’ve got to re-do the marketing for over 200 companies and can see what does/doesn’t work. This is super useful, and I can judge a company’s marketing in seconds just by looking at it. This is something I get paid for and learn from at the same time.
I’ve been able to build a lucrative copywriting business because I’m a triple threat in my industry.
I know a lot of people who love writing and being a copywriter, but all they can do is write.
They don’t know about distribution, making cool videos, knowing how to build up a big audience, how to modify their own websites. They’re one-trick ponies. And one-trick ponies often get left in the stable.
You should not be satisfied being a one-trick pony!
Your life can be so much richer if you work on becoming a double or triple threat.
If you’re still a single threat, that’s a very dangerous proposition for your future.
Maybe sit down tonight with a pen and paper and decide on how you’re gonna make yourself at least a double threat by the end of this year.